Day by day, year after year

Encouraged by the collaboration of the projects Ricochet and Emoi et mois , I tried to change the collective scale by taking on a dozen volunteers.


The accession pact

On the theme one insect robot, one plant, each author undertook to provide a text of 300 words within 2 months. This would be illustrated by a watercolor painted in the naturalistic style.
The authors receive the complete notebook at the end of the project, we were aiming for Christmas. 13 stories, 13 watercolors.


The calendar

I had set a schedule at the rate of one watercolor per week. 13 sprintsd in 12 weeks time. Each watercolourtook me 15 to 30 hours, including composition. I started by imagining a staging, consistent with the story, then I did a black and white drawn on a tablet. When this was validated by the author, I went to the realization in the 30x26cm format.


The NewsLetters

The project was to be punctuated by a weekly newsletter, in a professional format, and correspondence maintained with each of the authors.
Of course, the weekly letters were added to the creation of the watercolors and to the correspondence with the authors (around 500 messages exchanged over the entire project). They took me about 2 hours and were sent on Saturday at midday. To make sure I didn't miss the cut-off, I always had one prepared in advance.


The theme

The world of insects is an unknown land. How do they work, do they reason?
By transposing insects onto robots, we give them a part of humanity, they become a creation of man. They are built with a purpose.
Nature for its part is perfect, inaccessible to the watercolorist. Beautiful and almost impossible to reproduce.
Mecanat is the conjunction of a creation of man (mecha-insects) and what he cannot create (plants).

Why a naturalistic style?

The naturalistic style is at the origin of watercolor and dates back to the 16th century. Drawing was the only way to represent exotic plants and animals, to introduce them to most people.



What is existentialism?

It is a literary current, marked by JP Sartre, but let’s sum up the idea: we begin by existing, in order to no longer exist.
Out of nothingness, we live a (short) time to return to nothingness (a bit like a rocket in a fireworks, or an air bubble bursting in water).
Christians give a divine meaning to life (God precedes us as our father who created the world, we await the resurrection after our death). Existentialists question the meaning of existence which starts from nothing and goes towards nothing.
The positive is that our actions, our essence, are determined by ourselves. As we are created aimlessly, it is up to us to find it. In contrast, a manufactured object has a purpose, that given by its creator.
The existential "doubt" is when you are not quite sure of nothing. In principle, it applies more to religions and the Faith, when one would like to believe (in God), but not be sure (be most Christians).
Existentialism is associated with anguish, that which arises from freedom. Let's resume: since my existence precedes my essence (my thought), I have the freedom to make my choices. This implies a responsibility (to deceive myself, to make bad choices), therefore an anxiety.

At the end of the project, we tackled with Olivier and Benoît the staging in a clip with a record duration: 7mn and 14 seconds.

We started with a few guitar chords for the musical theme. I also had in mind Elton John's RocketMan, a nice insect-robot-humanized symmetry.
Each painting was characterized by a style that suited him, Olivier composed the whole.
Throughout this musical creation, Benoît provided guitar recordings, in particular a frenzied rock for Cool the Wasp .
Music without text can be downloaded here.

For the animation, I reused the modeling of the watercolor notebook that I had designed under Maya and Daz for the animal notebooks.
The pages that turn are the common thread of the clip, which increases in intensity of complexity and effects over the 7 minutes.
The structure of the 13 stories is fixed: transition, text, animation, backward traveling on watercolor. Each story is illustrated by a sentence from the text read by its author.